Thursday, 10 August 2017
The cling net is a device unashamedly lifted from Judge Dredd. It is a device that may be encountered in any scenario where technology has achieved tangler weaponry.
The cling net consists of a handle and a number of long, weighted cords. The cords are made from an electrically influenced myomimetic polymer. The entire device folds small enough to fit in a typical belt pouch so can be carried by any patrolman. The cling net follows the rules for nets given in the Basic rules, 4e p.411. It has a range of 2 hexes so may be used at C, 1 and 2 range. A successful hit from a cling net is treated as a one hex tangler warhead hit but the target is not allowed an extra dodge [THS 3e p.159 or Ultra-tech 4e p.155]. The cling net will hold on to its target until a key or code is entered into the handle. The cords are ST 30 DR 10 and not susceptible to tangler solvent.
Achieving stealth in space is very unlikely. To hide you need something to hide in, and most of space is nothing. Monitoring systems operate over a considerable breadth of the spectrum, including radio waves and infrared. Even if a ship could perfectly match its background colour at one wavelength range it is likely to be plainly visible at others. The temperature difference between a ship and its surroundings is such that it is the equivalent of a lump of coal on a white bedsheet.
Strategies such as directing waste heat in one direction or hiding behind another astral object have only limited success. This only works with respect to a single viewpoint and the solar system contains many Grigori.
The Grigori are small unmanned surveillance vessels that monitor the movements of objects within the solar system. Typically they travel well away from the spacelanes. Some use photon sails for propulsion, others solar-powered ion drives. Grigori are not particularly fast, but they do not need to get anywhere fast. They are designed to operate independently for years at a time.
Each spaceborne nation has launched a number of Grigori and monitors their transmissions. None of these nations are forthcoming about how many they have operational at a given time. There is even a story that China (or some other nation) has a fully-automated factory ship producing Grigori somewhere in the asteroid belt. A small part of the lunatic fringe maintains this ship will consume all of the asteroid belt within a century or so!
Grigori cannot hide in space any more than any other vessel. What protects the Grigori is their remoteness. To get within weapon range of a Grigori a ship might have to travel days or weeks. Even if unmanned vessels such as AKVs are used this is a poor use of resources. For each Grigori destroyed there are a dozen more observing and reporting the location of the aggressor.
The Mini-more is the late 21st century version of the Vietnam war-era Claymore mine. Improvements in explosives formulation and technology have resulted in a weapon that is lighter and less bulky without any reduction in effect. The focussing of the blast force is better controlled, resulting in a reduced backblast area. Use the profile for a standard Claymore in High Tech 4e p.189 but reduce the weight to that given below and make the backblast range 5 yards. Even beyond this distance it will be dangerous and unpleasant to stand too close!
A Mini-more is the size and shape of a typical paperback novel so will fit within most pockets or equipment pouches. It weighs 1.2lb. The resemblance to a book is increased by the presence of a hinged plate that resembles a book cover. This plate can be locked at various angles and serves as a stand for the mine. The plate is skeletonised providing numerous openings by which the stand can be nailed, screwed or tied into position. Older versions of the mine also have an adhesive pad on the mounting plate. This used a glue similar to that used on adhesive rodent traps, allowing the mine to be stuck to a variety of surfaces and removed again if not used. More modern versions use the same biomimetic sucker cups or NewtGlu utilized by smaller limpet mines (THS 3e p.159, Under Pressure 3e p.115). The mounting plate has a range of movement exceeding 180 degrees, allowing the mine to be used as a door-breeching charge or limpet mine. Vehicles sometimes mount the mines on armoured plates with the charge facing outwards for local defence.
Mini-mores may be command-detonated by radio signal or fibre-optic hardline. The latter resembles monofilament fishing line and is less susceptible to jamming countermeasures that radio signals or conventional wire. Mines may also be triggered by a variety of plug-in sensor modules such as motion detectors or “tripwire” lasers. A long-life battery and small solar panel keep the mine’s electrical systems charged.
The lower weight and size of the Mini-more has led to new tactical applications. A Mini-more may be carried by relatively small UAVs or ground robots. The “flying (or crawling) claymore” can stealthily approach a target, using terrain features as cover and concealment and accessing building through small openings.